Life is stressful. That’s why I hike.
I started hiking regularly a few years ago, shortly after the adoption of my first rescue pup, Murphy. At the time, his foster home had been taking him on 10+ mile runs a day (nope.) and he had a lot of energy to burn. It was a way to combat his energy as well as the many behavioral issues he came with as a formerly abused shelter dog.
Now, I can’t imagine a life where I’m not regularly hiking.
Hiking isn’t just great exercise, it has a lot of other health and well-being benefits, too. Here are my top five reasons for hiking:
1. It’s meditative.
When I’m out in the woods, I’m nowhere else. That time out in nature allows you to clear your mind and focus on the task at hand.
2. It boosts energy.
After a hike, especially on a crisp, fall day, I’m ready to tackle more projects. According to this blog, hitting the trail works out your body as much as it does your brain.
3. It has the obvious health benefits.
Hiking burns between 300 and 500 calories per hour, depending on how strenuous of a hike you’re doing. Plus, after a good hike, you’re looking at a better night’s sleep.
4. It gives you a creativity boost.
Disconnecting from the world a little bit gives you the opportunity to think in ways you don’t during the day, thus leading to some maybe particularly crazy ideas. This blog was thought up entirely during an afternoon hike, by the way!
5. Happy dogs, happy owner.
Humans aren’t the only ones that benefit from a day in the woods: Dog owners will find that, not only are their dogs getting great exercise, they’re learning some good habits as well. Hikes are a great opportunity to teach dogs recall techniques, and how to properly interact with other people and animals you may encounter on the trail.
Here’s a photo of my adventure buddy on our hike today: